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9 candidates for attorney general debate Thursday

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Nine of the 10 candidates running for Illinois attorney general debated the issues in a forum Thursday. (WLS)

Nine of the 10 candidates running for Illinois attorney general debated the issues in a forum Thursday.

Each hoped to highlight what sets them apart from the rest.

Ten candidates want the job. Nine of them participated in a sparsely-attended forum Thursday with the exception of the lone republican on the panel, Gary Grasso, all the democrats generally agree on the same issues. What sets them apart is ethics.

"I've accepted campaign contributions from a broad range of individuals and not once has a campaign contribution determined how I vote," said Democratic candidate for attorney general and State Sen. Kwame Raoul.

State Sen. Kwame Raoul was on the defensive as several of the candidates called him out for accepting campaign contributions that are viewed as a conflict of interest.

"I think it is wrong for candidates to accept money from ComEd, Exelon, People's Gas... Five candidates have refused that," said Democratic candidate for attorney general and former Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn.

"I do think it is the height of hypocrisy for former Governor Quinn to talk about not taking money from utilities when he did in abundance of governor," said Democratic candidate for attorney general Nancy Rotering.

"Independence is so important in this position," said Democratic candidate for attorney general Sharon Fairley.

Besides ethics, fighting public corruption is something each candidate promises to do.

"Everybody says that, what do I mean, I mean I'm going after the property tax assessment system in Cook County and Chicago," said Republican candidate for attorney general Gary Grasso.

Some of the candidates blame Attorney General Lisa Madigan for ignoring public corruption.

"In 2003, Lisa Madigan said it would be a top priority even if it means the investigation of her father, 2018 we've seen nothing," said Democratic candidate for attorney general Aaron Goldstein.

"I was the first Democrat to call for Speaker Madigan's resignation," said Democratic candidate for attorney general and State Rep. Scott Drury.

Besides ethics and public corruption, the subjects of gun violence, the Quincy Veterans' home and the budget all were topics discussed at the forum.

The only candidate not present at the forum was republican Erika Herald.
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politicsattorney generalprimary debateprimary electionillinoisChicago
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